Saturday, November 17, 2007

$3 A Gallon? Try $10!

A lot is being made of the increase in cost for auto fuel. The national average is above $3 a gallon. It's $3.29 here in Anacortes, WA, and there's a Shell refinery just across the inlet. Two summers ago, I was in Grand Rapids, MI at a conference of the American Scientific Affiliation. There, one of Congress's only scientists (PhD in physics), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), gave a keynote address about the science and policy of energy. You know what he said? He thinks gasoline should cost $10 a gallon. That way, folks would actually change consumptive behavior, industry would put alternative energy as a top priority, and the government would not be so reliant on foreign powers. This is a Republican! From Michigan, home of the US auto industry!

I think I could buy into this, as long as the $$$ doesn't go to the oil companies or foreign regimes. Maybe it could go to the National Park System or to local schools. Or fancy this: the extra cash could finance developing viable alternative fuel sources. Of course, something would need to address folks around the poverty line - maybe something like gas stamps - but apart from that, we need to wise up.

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